The Airing of Grievances
Friday, September 17, 2004
Best. Episode. Ever
The Apprentice is really hitting its stride. This is clearly the best episode of either series - with all characters hitting their strong points hard, and just a great Boardroom scenario. It was so good, I still cannot discuss the episode rationally.
Frank gave you all a pretty good summation of the characters last week. To that I would add only this. We had a word for people like Ivana back in B School. That word was FREAKIN' USELESS. What a shit show she presided over...Three to four hours talking about ice cream flavors, then losing her team in a 1/2 block radius, then convincing all of the Apex Corp shrews to gang up on Stacie J instead of her - and my personal favorite, the "Price/Flavor" matrix she was trying to work up. Horrible. That she didn't get canned for that performance is amazing.
On the other hand - props to Wharton Grad and Apprentice Soul Brotha #1, Kevin (check out his resume - I didn't know they gave degrees in M&A) for figuring out that the creation of the flavor was the rake in this contest(NWF). "Just take vanilla ice cream and throw some candy bars or doughnuts in there" Amen, brotha - ice cream sells itself. As Pam said, you could put dog feces in Ciao Bella Gelato, and it would still taste good. The game is about selling ice cream. Andy also came up with the strong idea of tying their sales into a charity organization. Even Raj came through as head carnival barker and bow-tie supplier. Strong performance by Mosaic Corp.
Why everyone will be talking about this episode for a while is the boardroom foolishness of Bradford - giving up immunity and then sheepishly acting like it was no big deal.
My take - his move was not fatal, he just played it like a chump. As a wise man named Q Tip once said, "Scared Money Don't Make None," but when the chips were down, Bradford choked. Here's what Bradford had to do, after he threw his chips down - he had to go back at Trump when he said that Bradford's decision was "Pretty Stupid" instead of backing down like a whipped puppy. If he had said "Mr. Trump, I was trying to rally my team by showing them that we are all accountable for our performance, and my performance in the past two weeks is unimpeachable. If you want to fire me for that, you are sending a bad message to the rest of these candidates." He could have even taken it a step further by saying "Look, if you want to fire me for being accountable for my performance after the shit show that Ivana and Stacie caused, then I probably wouldn't be the right employee for you." He would have been saved, just like that. You can't play the confidence card and then back down like a sheep.
So Bradley says "Genqui!" to the unemployment line far too prematurely - maybe he can get a job causing Camel Liquid Explosions? More importantly the ladies have to explain to the clearly in-SANE Stacie J why they ganged up on her - since that didn't work. Apex will suffer in the coming weeks because of it.
They are setting the stage for some truly great TV in the coming weeks. You know I'll be watching!
Epilogue - Probably my favorite moment of the whole show was at the very end, when DT was saying that he was happy with his decision in canning Bradford, when Caroline Chimed in "I agree" for no real reason. Classic brown-nosing "Yes (Wo)Man" behavior - Caught On Tape!